CLARE QUIRK | Warrnambool Standard
Dr Kao has returned from an 18-day trip to the Western Province, where he helped provide dental care which most Australians would take for granted.
Dr Kao said out of a population of seven million people, there were only 30 registered dentists.
He said most people didn’t have a toothbrush and coconut husks were used to brush teeth.
“I’d seen plenty of photos and read stories before I went but it was still a little bit disheartening that they are not able to get best health care,” Dr Kao said.
One of the biggest dental problems in PNG was root infection. Without any other option, people with a toothache often had the tooth snapped off to take away the pain.
Dr Kao made the journey to PNG aboard a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) medical ship, which left from Townsville.
The vessel was fully equipped with an onboard clinic. YWAM works with local health care providers to provide training and medical care to remote areas.
During his time there Dr Kao said he met one dentist who had been practising for 30 years and his tools consisted of some forceps.